Materials Planning

The Discussion Board (DB) is part of the core of online learning. Classroom discussion in an online environment requires the active participation of students and the instructor to create robust interaction and dialogue. Every student is expected to create an original response to the open-ended DB question as well as engage in dialogue by responding to posts created by others throughout the week. At the end of each unit, DB participation will be assessed based on both level of engagement and the quality of the contribution to the discussion.

At a minimum, each student will be expected to post an original and thoughtful response to the DB question and contribute to the weekly dialogue by responding to at least two other posts from students. The first contribution must be posted before midnight (Central Time) on Wednesday of each week. Two additional responses are required after Wednesday of each week. Students are highly encouraged to engage on the Discussion Board early and often, as that is the primary way the university tracks class attendance and participation.

The purpose of the Discussion Board is to allow students to learn through sharing ideas and experiences as they relate to course content and the DB question. Because it is not possible to engage in two-way dialogue after a conversation has ended, no posts to the DB will be accepted after the end of each unit.

You have recently been hired as a project manager by the CEO of the ABC Firm, a large manufacturing firm (just one division of the XYZ Conglomerate Corporation). The CEO of ABC has been a manufacturing executive since the beginning of the 1950s. He and most of the managers and supervisors are steeped only in traditional manufacturing and operations methods, which are outdated. The board of directors has been concerned about lagging results of ABC versus its more modern thinking competitors.

You were hired by the CEO as the project manager with the specific charge to changeover ABC’s outdated manufacturing, forecasting, and scheduling systems to more modern methodology. You have successfully accomplished this very same task at 7 different companies over the last 20 years, so you feel confident that you can get the transition to occur, although you do have some reservations. However, with the patience of the board and the understanding by the CEO and most of the managers, you can show them how different life will really be under the new operations paradigms.

Although the CEO did interview you, he never asked you any technical questions because he did not know what to ask. As a result, he invited you for a working lunch on your first day. He asked you to describe the following:

  • An overview of at least 4 ways in which things will be different under the new operations paradigms
  • At least 3 potential improvements you think the company might expect to see
  • At least 3 parts of this kind of major transition that you believe will be most difficult

In your own words, please post a response to the Discussion Board and comment on other at least 2 other postings. You will be graded on the quality of your postings.

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